Why was Sweden Neutral In WW2?

Why was Sweden Neutral In WW2?


The 20th century was a very tense period, a period marked by huge conflicts, political and economic crisis, and changes of regime The beginning of the 20th century was the beginning of reforms and political crises from the end of the 19th century there was a socialist revolutionary movement in this country and it had been divided into two opposing political teams the reformists a democratic movement and the revolutionary socialists a communist movement During the Great War Sweden was neutral – and in 1917 the rules of democracy were changed in Sweden Its electorate size grew due to a reform in 1921, women were also allowed to vote Some of these reforms were seen as far too radical by some conservatives Others wanted strong leadership and did not believe in democracy In the 1920s and 1930s Crises expanded in this country. It wasn’t like a big revolution in one direction but Sweden was touched by internal conflicts and some instability as in other European countries in the interwar period Sweden had been an active supporter of the League of Nations and most of Sweden’s political energy in the international arena had been directed towards the preservation of the League of Nations the Swedish non-aligned policy during this period was founded on the assumption that there were two opposing powers in the Baltic Germany and the Soviet Union Because these two powers needed to guard against each other the hope was that they would only ever be able to deploy minor forces against Sweden or other non-aligned countries Seeing the turmoil in Europe the Swedish government started to increase its military expense as the international situation worsened Sweden wanted to protect its borders and declared itself a neutral country at the start of the conflict But this was the start of the war and at that time many other countries declared their neutrality But as the time passed more and more were involved as aggressors or assaulted countries Meanwhile, the Scandinavian country prevailed without being involved as an aggressor or a victim Sweden was not directly attacked during World War two it was however subject to British and German naval blockades and accidental bombings from the Soviets on some cities which led to problems with the supply of food and fuels When Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in April 1940 coupled with a German blockade of the North Sea Every single shipment had to be negotiated with both British and German authorities which drastically reduced the volume of trade At the beginning of the war agreements had been signed between Sweden and the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany in order to sustain vital trade But in spite of this and the fact that Sweden had declared itself a neutral country Swedish shipping began to be attacked Sweden’s trade with Britain was cut by a total of 70 percent within the North Sea blockade trade with Germany increased until 37% of Sweden’s exports were shipped to Germany on the outbreak of the winter war between Finland and the Soviet Union in November 1939 Sweden declared itself to be non belligerent in regard to this particular conflict Actively siding with Finland. It wasn’t directly involved but due to the fear of the Soviet aggressors some help was sent to their Finnish neighbors around 180 swedes joined the German waffen-ss It was always the individuals choice to enlist however The government also helped in ways such as sending food, ammunition, weapons, and medicine to Finland during conflict While the number of Swedish volunteers was comparatively small to some other nations the country’s willingness to help in the war effort Surely points to its obvious lack of neutrality Even if official government policy state of the country was in a nonviolent position the actions of people in the nation are what ultimately revealed the true nature of the attitudes and these Undeniably shows Swedish refusal to sit on the sidelines and do nothing There were three main aggressors in the war in Europe Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union their decisions dragged other countries into the conflict and the geographic position was a main cause as We look at the map we can observe in this position Germany and Italy and in the Eastern Europe the Soviet Union Between these two bloc’s there were smaller countries and all of them were affected by these three aggressors In the West, France and Great Britain played as the Allies, but France was invaded The Allies couldn’t help be invaded or abused countries between Germany and the Soviet Union If the North Finland was attacked by the Russians and Norway by the Germans The only country left there was Sweden the German war machine was a well trained army, but in order to sustain a modern conflict They needed two important resources: oil and iron There was a fear of Germans that the Soviets might conquer all of Romania or invade Sweden Germany used this Swedish iron in its weapon production and trade from Sweden to Germany eventually became so large that ten million tons of iron ore per year was shipped to the Third Reich the Government did not interfere with the trade because of its official policy of neutrality British intelligence had identified German dependency on this production of ore and estimated that Germany’s preparations for war could end in disaster If there were to be a delay in exports for the Germans the Swedish iron was vital and because of the Swedish willingness to trade as a neutral country while Norway was occupied and under German administration Berlin didn’t have a reason to attack the Nordic country Germany planned to invade the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 the Germans asked the Swedes to allow German armed forces to be transported by train through Swedish land from Norway to Finland Debates were made in order to clarify what the government should do about this issue to keep their neutrality They didn’t want to be seen as a collaborator with the Germans nor the Allies but in the end permission was granted Sweden became a place of refuge for some people Norwegian and Finnish refugees also fled to Sweden and many stayed there after the war too intelligence played a huge part for Swedish support for the Allies as Military intelligence was shared between them and some Swedish businessman diplomats actively spied for the Allies in cities such as Berlin While Sweden was officially trading with Germany. They were unofficially trading with the Allies Sweden allowed smuggling and even managed to make a deal with the UK from 1943 until 1945 the German power was in decline and their army was forced into a more defensive position as the Soviet forces achieved success on the battlefield in the first years Swedish neutrality was marked by a closed relation with Germany in The end seeing their collapse more bonds were linked to the Allies They allowed Swedish air bases to be used in the last two years of the war by the Allies in 1945 as the Allies were planning to liberate Denmark and Norway the United States wanted Sweden to cooperate in this action Sweden began preparing for operations save Denmark Sweden was to assist the Allies in the invasion of Norway – but all this proved to be unnecessary the u.s Planes were allowed to use Swedish military bases during the liberation of Norway From spring 1944 to 1945 and the Allies were also collaborating with the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service Sweden allowed Allied spies to listen to German radio signals from a station It’s believed that Sweden was only a name a neutral country during the course of the Second World War It did abide both sides. However, which is perhaps what has led to the debate surrounding the reality of its neutrality To maintain the country as neutral in a continent ravaged by flames and bullets the Swedish government had to play with both sides To not be considered as a good friend of just one side as a neutral country in such a sensitive situation The primary goal was to live and to not upset anyone Winston Churchill believed that Sweden ignored the greater moral issues of the war and played both sides for profit From his point of view judging the Allied cause this could have been true at the time Churchill accused in some way the Swedish government for the intense trading with the Germans But from the Swedish and the neutral point of view We can say that this country did everything they could do to maintain their neutrality and independence for their interest and This is legit and understandable for any country more than that Sweden tried to help others in some examples We can refer to the receiving of war refugees and alongside This many were working to try and persuade German leaders to treat the Jews more humanely such as King Gustav v of Sweden Moreover many diplomats contributed to saving thousands of prisoners from concentration camps At that time and in those situations to achieve full neutrality was a very hard thing to do and Sweden achieved its form of neutrality Thanks so much for watching if you have a suggestion for any other videos in the future, leave a comment Please subscribe and don’t forget to hit that Bell

100 Comments on "Why was Sweden Neutral In WW2?"


  1. Sweden make great profit to war that IS disguisting just watch when Finland suffers thxs neighbor

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  2. One thing that often is left out when it comes to Swedens neutrality is the fact that Sweden and FInland wanted to create an Nordic Aliance in the middle of the 30's. For this alliance to stand any chance all four Nordic countries had to been involved. A common general staff, a common chain of command, and a common strategy with shared materials.

    Finland was very positive, Sweden as well. Denmark refused to let their soldiers under Swedish command, and the norwegians simply did not care. Well we all now what happened, and we all know why Sweden actually never was neutral in the Winter War.

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  3. WW1 and ww2 happen
    Switzerland portugal leichstein and sweden : nope nope nope nope nope noopppppeeeee
    Allies and axis : what thef*ck

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  4. Sweden was not truly neutral. During the German invasion of Norway in 1940, Sweden allowed German troops and transports travelling through Sweden to attack and occupy Norway. They were kept secret but eventually leaked out as the size of troop movement could not be concealed. These actions were authorised by Swedish government and continued well into late 1943.

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  5. Churchill was right about Sweden just as he was right just about everyone else. I remember his remark on the French "Resistance", that every French whore who gave a German soldier an STD during the occupation claimed to have been a Resistance fighter after the war. The French are scum.

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  6. Sweden Declering itself as a neutral in ww2. As Early of German Reich. Sweden Following Germans Wants. And then. After the Falling of Nazi Germany, Sweden Change Aside. Cooperating Western Allies. Because Sweden knows whats the best of the best.

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  7. The importance of the Swedish iron ore was overestimated in 1940, as Germany could import as much as they needed from the Soviet Union. After Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, Germany had access to the French iron ore from Lorraine, but it was of poorer quality than the Swedish

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  8. They realized they would be overrun quickly by the German Army. The current military strength in Sweden can defend one county for 2 weeks. In some ways a smart decision as it meant Sweden was not bombed under invasion or liberation, but long term created the Swedish guilt complex over the Holocaust, effectively making Sweden a social democratic country for the past 70 years. Ironically the Swedish academic elite perhaps naively believe they have the moral high ground in Europe, the Swedish messiah complex.

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  9. Sweden have guilt that they didnt take in more jews in the ww2 so now they try to recover their concious with mass immigration… Nice

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  10. Is it the weed I'm smoking now I or the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland on this map looks like a kid with long rain coat fishing?? I just realised that now… Or is it the weed…

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  11. I'd say they were Neutral to the Western Allies and to the Reich – but hostile to the Soviet Union.

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  12. Also Norway would have stayed neutral and our of war if Britain would not have planned to invade it.

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  13. If Gustav Adolf or Carolous Rex was the leader of that time the Swedish army will conquer the entire Baltic

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  14. WHAT!! You’ve never played WW2 you know it’s fun right? I’m not supposed to give my iron but give it a try and then tell me if you agree or not. Sweden is still relevant god damet

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  15. There was actually an Operation titled "Operation Polar Fox" which was a German plan to invade Sweden in 1943, but it never happened due to the turning tides.

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  16. If Sweden is Invaded Then The German Troops would pass by Sweden and would easily capture Leningrad through Finland

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  17. At the start sweden where neutral to all both sides but in the end sweden choosed Great brittians and France side and it was a person i dont know the name on saved 45k jews

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  18. So I'm playing a German U-Boat simulator I would like to ask if a German U-Boat came across a swedish cargo ship would they have attacked it?
    (BECAUSE I DID IT LOLOL)

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  19. The (Not So) Neutrals of World War II

    By ROGER COHEN

    January 26, 1997

    WHEN the world was simpler, divided during a bitter peace between the forces of good on this side of the Iron Curtain and the ''Evil Empire'' beyond it, the concept of ''neutrality'' in Europe seemed as clearly delineated and reassuring as the Swiss flag itself. The neutral state stood in the middle, between the globe's conflicting forces. It connoted a certain decency, cold and formal perhaps, but incompatible with the concealment of Nazi plunder or other skulduggery.

    But neutrality, like virtue, is seldom absolute. Applied to the acts of a state during several years of war, the adjective ''neutral'' is almost inevitably inadequate. Wars are hell. But they are also opportunity. They are generally long, made up of hard, grinding days that do not naturally nourish man's nobler instincts.

    The neutral states of World War II — among them Switzerland, Sweden and Portugal — composed their neutrality day after day. The Swiss did not want the Germans in Geneva but did not have an army that could stop them from getting there. The Portuguese, led by a fascist, were worried about what the British might do to their African colonies. The Swedes needed German coal and the Germans needed Swedish iron ore. Such equations — involving geography, economic interest, historical ties, strategic aims and emotional sympathies — defined policy. Survival mattered above all.

    Morality was secondary, if that; which is where the gold and the assets of Jewish victims of Hitler come in.

    It has become clear in recent months that money, gold, paintings and other items that belonged to Holocaust victims were deposited in Swiss banks by the Nazis or by the victims themselves during Hitler's rule. The extent of these deposits and their ultimate fate remain unclear.

    But the apparent failure of the Swiss banking community to give a clear accounting of its dealings with the Nazis has fueled an increasingly venomous exchange between Jewish groups and the Swiss authorities. The image of Switzerland — comforting because neutral — has taken on a darker hue. In the place of chocolates, cute little cottages and kindly burghers, another Switzerland has emerged, suspicious of Jewish ''blackmail'' and cabals, unsure what guilt, if any, to admit.

    In the Swiss wake, Portugal and Sweden have also arrived in the historical dock. Their governments' apparent lack of interest in the source of the Nazi gold they received in exchange for sales to Germany of tungsten, wood, sardines and iron ore has been widely criticized. As in Switzerland, the suspicion has emerged that they profited from the Nazi conquest, and genocide, and that their neutrality was simply a cloak for connivance.

    ''Sweden was not neutral, Sweden was weak,'' said Arne Ruth, a Swedish journalist who has written a book on the Third Reich. ''Its sales of iron ore made an important contribution to the German effort. It allowed German troops and weaponry through its territory to Norway. In 1943, its government told the central bank to ignore suspicions that German gold Sweden received was looted. What is interesting is that all these facts, more or less known for some time, are commanding such attention now.''

    There is no question that recently declassified documents, the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995, and unprecedented access to archives in Moscow and other ex-Communist states have all played a role in reopening discussion of the war and turning events of long ago into news.

    But there seems to be more to the current debate than new documents alone can explain. The cold war, an era of moral absolutism, has given way to an age in which even ''good'' states can be bad, or at least reveal their imperfections. An age where neutrality itself is necessarily relative.

    ''Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, we tended to imbue ourselves with a facile purity in the West,'' said Andre Glucksmann, a French philosopher. ''We blamed the other and did not look too closely at ourselves. We glossed over the corner of neutrality in most people, the neutrality that is also the instinct to save one's skin.''

    Truth and Cynicism

    The extent to which the ''truth'' about World War II was shaped by the often cynical political imperatives of the postwar years is now becoming clear. As the British historian Norman Davies has pointed out, the only war crimes deemed worth investigating in 1945 ''were those committed by the defeated enemy.''

    There was, for example, no appetite to discover who killed 26,000 Allied Polish officers in the Katyn forests in 1941 because the Soviet Union, at war's end, was an ally. Later, the issue was simply buried in the Soviet sphere.

    Similarly, Western attempts to probe who killed whom in Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945 — and particularly the role of the Catholic church in quisling Croatia's genocidal drive against Serbs and Jews — were scarcely serious because they met political objections. To look too closely was to destabilize Yugoslavia; and to criticize the Catholic church was to play into the hands of the Communists.

    The truth, beside such calculations, was of little moment. Politics was paramount. The same is certainly true of Switzerland, Sweden and Portugal, states that all became part of the Western family after 1945. Portugal, still under its dictator Antonio Salazar, entered NATO. Switzerland and Sweden were lands of freedom and democracy. Pressing them on their war records was not a priority in the West.

    Immediately after the war, the United States did attempt to press Portugal to surrender 44 tons of German gold by freezing its assets in the United States. But seven years later, with America anxious to get Portugal into NATO and secure an important strategic base in the Azores, the matter was dropped.

    In Switzerland, as in Sweden, the facts of an uneven war record have been broadly known for some time. Switzerland let some Jewish refugees in, but it turned others away. It secured food and other supplies from Germany and Fascist Italy; its bankers did business with both. Especially in the later years of the war, it proved a valuable listening post for Allied intelligence services.

    ''The romantic idea of the Swiss citizen army standing between it and disaster in the war was always nonsense,'' said Arno J. Mayer, a professor of history at Princeton University. ''Given the fact it borders Germany, it was natural for it to lean more toward the Axis powers. It is the new spirit of our times that has led to the current scrutiny.''

    That spirit has also been evident elsewhere. It is only recently, in 1995, that France has fully acknowledged its responsibility in the deportation of Jews and only recently that the early Allied awareness of the Holocaust has become widely acknowledged. The truth, with its inevitable moral ambiguities, can now be told.

    Part of this questioning spirit seems to have stemmed from the disasters that followed the cold war's end. The genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda posed — shockingly — a basic question: and what did you do?

    Fewer Certainties

    Faced by this question, the old, neat certainties about history, about who was good and who evil, who upstanding and who a coward, have tended to fall away. The fact is that the ''neutral'' in any war or crisis — those, that is, who rest immobile or are borne along with the tide — are far more numerous than the outright heroes or the outright villains.

    What has also become very clear in recent years is the importance of light being shed on history. Yugoslavia's destruction, in many ways, was an old war refought. The obfuscations of Swiss banks and the Swiss Government, the shredding of old documents and the retreat into invective appear to do no service to future generations of Swiss citizens.

    Our vision of wartime ''neutrality'' was an illusion. But so, too, in some ways, was our vision of ourselves. The neutral countries were imperfect, but perhaps we were all less perfect than we believed.

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  20. A swedish comedian named Magnus Betner who said that if a WWIII would happen, Sweden would do the same thing.
    One new Nazi country: You know we're Nazis right?
    Sweden: Yeah. Of course. The industry is booming.

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  21. Also, I dont think Germany wanted to invade Sweden because it would lead to finland getting invaded by either the soviet union or germany, and it would lead to a "2nd front" and germany could barely hold the eastern front, its just they didnt have enough manpower

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  22. It also maters that Sweden can't form foreign policy without a meating in Utrikesnämnden ("The board on foreign policy"). This board stil today has the King as chairman. And even if the house of Bernadotte came from France more than 200 years ago every single marrige the current king of Sweden has entered since has been with nobility from either Germany or England. So the chairman of Utrikesnämnden wasn't likely to want war with either side.

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  23. Sweden was NOT neutral during WW2, Officially they CLAIMED this, but they were very very much on the Axis side.
    Most of their weapon trade was with germany, and they gave "favorable" terms to germany, and denied this to others.

    sweden neutral my black smelly hole, sweden was axis powers, along side gemany

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  24. Video is full of anti-USSR propaganda. Sweden was neutral due to its experience from the last war they waged, which was against Russia during Napoleonic wars. They attepmpted to attack St. Petersburg (capital of Russia at the time) using the fact that bulk of Russian army was in central Europe, defending european states from Napoleon. Unfortunatelly for them, the garrison of St. Petersburg was bigger then the entire army of Sweden, so the attack was repelled easily. And then, as they awaited Russian attack in Finland, Russian marshals sent three columns accross the frozen Baltic Sea straight into the hearthland of Sweden. As soon as they saw Russian army showing up on sea horizon across Stockholm harbor, Swedes surrendered, deposed their king and promised to be neutral in the future. That experience shook them deeply. Otherwise, of course they were not completely neutral, they helped Nazis during WW2 and sent them huge amount of resources, just like they are partners with Nato today. Formal neutrality, but they always stick with the side they percieve wins at the moment.

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  25. During the occupation of Norway, Germany actually struggled to occupy the country until german soldiers went with train from Trelleborg to the border between Norway and Sweden because the Swedish government were nazis them self. I know this because I studied allot of Swedish history and many Swedes don’t believe what I’m saying because they are brainwashed by the Swedish government and they also try to avoid the Swedish history when they help nazi German.

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  26. North Swiden wasn't neutral doing WW Il Many joined Waffen SS and helped Finland soldiers to fight the battles against Bolsheviks doing winter war Most of them serve as a pilot's Letter on every European state joined Waffen SS troops to protect Europe from Bolsheviks aggression That also includes Latvia Estonia Bialorussia Ukrainian state Muslim and Black Sea Tatars British southern France Ireland's and Hindus soldiers capture in Dunkirk make decisions to join Germans forces instead watched big drunk Churchill and F.D.R having dinner with Stalin Communism loved idiots

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  27. 3:55 umm no? Sweden sent the most voluenteers period, im pretty dure it was more than all other combined

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  28. By early 1944, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war and incapable of offensive action against Sweden. By August of 1944, there could be only one reason why Sweden did not demand Germany's surrender in Norway and Denmark — cowardice.

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  29. Not sure what they talking about in the beginning of film.. revolution? mixing it up with Russia i think or just dont make it clear..

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  30. If we fins wouldn't fight so damn hard, we & Sweden would speak russian today. We are the spooky scary forest between Sweden & Russia :]

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  31. Because things get tore up in a fight. In a bad one, that you are going to loose, you just may end up dead.

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  32. I think this video has one fact wrong, no swedish airfields were used by the allied airforce during the war.

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  33. Schweden war neutral,weil Deutschland es so haben wollte.. man braucht eine freie Spielwiese für gewisse Sachen und Geschäfte.
    … gilt auch für die Schweiz..!!
    Später hat sich dann die CCCP ein "neutrales" Finnland gehalten…Same reason..same procedure!!
    Ganz einfach 😎✌️

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  34. When Norway was invaded by the Germans, many fled to the Swedish border. In the beginning, they returned people who had been caught by the border to the Germans. This happened until the Norwegian king told the Swedes that Norway would pay the Swedes back afterwards.

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  35. Sweden was a safe house for many Baltic Refugees during the war, it was after the war when many of the Estonian and Latvians where sent back to Stalin that blacken the Swedish "Good Will"!. This is never talked about and is eliminated from the history books.

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  36. Sweden may have been “neutral” during the war but showed their true colors after the fighting ended. They forcibly turned thousands of people over to the soviets knowing full well that they would be killed. A cowardly nation.

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